Gunnar Myrdal


We should join together on an all-European basis, together with the United States of America, in a vast cooperative effort to help the under-developed countries, even outside Europe, hasten their growth in the interest of a higher standard of living for all. These and other big things should be done but, unfortunately, are difficult to envisage realistically as long as Europe remains divided. (…) Europe is nothing more than a peninsula on the huge Asian continent, and the split of Europe has left us in a situation where Western Europe is nothing more than a string of coastal states on that small peninsula. I always reacted, and often expressed my reaction in my statements to the Commission, to the increasingly common application of the term “Europe” to that narrow strip of our Continent and the term “European” to its subregional organizations. This type of propagandistic terminology should not be too important in itself. But it indicates a deeper inclination which is intensely inimical to the work governments are trying to do in this Commission. We should not close our minds to the fact that since the war both in the East and the West a new generation has grown up that through its experiences during these twenty years and through the propaganda surrounding it has become conditioned to look at reality in this perverted way.

Twenty Years of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, 1968